Tunxis Community College in Farmington presented awards for service and academic excellence during Commencement ceremonies on June 1.
John E. Smith of Bristol, was presented the 17th Board of Trustees of Connecticut Community-Technical Colleges Merit Award, which recognizes individuals who have provided extraordinary service to the community colleges and have contributed to students’ quality of life at Tunxis in significant ways. A member of Tunxis Community College Foundation and Advisory Board since 1980, he was honored for his active and long-term support of Tunxis and contributions as past chairman of the Foundation.
“John Smith recognizes the value of education and in particular the value of Tunxis Community College,” said Tunxis President Cathryn L. Addy, Ph.D. “He understands our mission as a liberal arts transfer institution, he has experienced first-hand our role educating and training key workers in the health care industry, and he completely supports our role in workforce development for Connecticut.”
“Receiving this award is an unexpected honor,” said Smith. “My first involvement with Tunxis was in the early ’70s and I was fortunate to have interacted with some of the founders of the College. They were an outstanding group committed to Tunxis, and their commitment transcended all obstacles,” he emphasized. “Perhaps you will come to remember the importance Tunxis played in your lives, and consider becoming involved so those students yet to come here will be afforded the same opportunities that will help each of you lead to success.”
Smith is currently an independent project consultant for New England Bank, and was previously senior vice president for operations at Bristol Hospital. Earlier in his career, he worked for Bristol Public Schools first as a high school English teacher, and later as the assistant to the superintendent of schools.
Smith’s dedication to education, youth, and the greater Bristol community is evident in his many activities. He is director emeritus of United Way of West Central Connecticut, and is a founder of Main Street Community Foundation, Bristol Education Foundation, and Bristol Sports Hall of Fame. He has also been actively involved through board leadership positions in the Boys and Girls Club and Family Center of Bristol, Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, the city of Bristol’s Board of Finance, Public School Building Committees, and Bristol Hospital Development Foundation. Smith has won several awards, including the Oliver Gaudreau Lifetime Service Award from the Boys and Girls Club and Family Center of Bristol, and the E. Bartlett Barnes Outstanding Service Award from the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce.
Three Tunxis students were conferred the Board of Trustees Medallion Award for Academic Excellence. The award recognizes outstanding academic accomplishments of associate’s degree graduates. Recipients must have earned a cumulative quality point ratio of 4.0, and have completed at least 50 percent of the degree requirements at Tunxis. The Class of 2011 recipients, by town of residence, and associate degree emphases, are as follows:
David E. Scovel, computer information systems
Anna Karpiej, Tunxis 2011 salutatorian, business administration: accounting
Elizabeth Edwards, Tunxis 2011 valedictorian, graphic design
The ceremony was among a series of celebrations at Tunxis Community College commemorating 40 years of education in the Farmington Valley and beyond. The College first opened for classes in October 1970 with 494 students and held its first Commencement in 1972. Today approximately 6,100 students enroll in credit and continuing education programs each semester as they prepare for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. For more information, visit the Tunxis website at tunxis.commnet.edu; or call 860.773.1300.